Pleioblastus fortunei, formally known as Pleioblastus variegatus is an upright bamboo, with pale green canes and narrow dark green leaves with cream stripes. It will only reach around 75 centimetres in height and is an absolutely ideal small bamboo for a pot. It can be cut back in early spring to encourage lovely fresh new growth. A good bamboo for the shade and works well as ground cover. RHS Award of Garden Merit. We recommend bamboo root barrier for this plant. Position: Full sun/shade out of cold, drying winds - especially coastal winds Soil: All soils, but avoid waterlogged areas very dry soils will need extra watering Eventual Size: Up to 1 metre, but can be pruned
- Common Names: Arundinaria variegata, Dwarf white striped bamboo and Dwarf variegated bamboo, Pleioblastus variegatus
Before planting it is a good idea to soak the bamboo thoroughly to ensure the rots are well and truly saturated then dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball add compost then place the bamboo so that the finished soil height will be slightly lower than the top of the root ball. Backfill using your soil mixed 50:50 with good compost. Once planted gently firm down the soil around the base add a top dressing of a good fertilizer, we prefer poultry manure, then mulch with a good 8-10 deep layer of compost. Finally water again to help settle the bamboo. In dry periods it may be necessary to repeat watering regularly, if the bamboo looks dry and the leaves are curling this is a sure sign. After the first season we repeat the mulching and feeding each spring.
Now stand back and enjoy. Don’t expect your bamboo to grow away like a rocket, yes bamboo can grow incredibly fast but most of this happens over a 3 month period which is very generally late May through to early August so if you’ve planted either side of this period I’m afraid you’ll have to wait.
Pruning and Grooming
Bamboo can be very accommodating here. I’ve seen pristine clipped hedges and topiary shaped plantings of both Phllostachys aurea and bissetti showing easy how easy it can be managed. What I like to do though on any large bamboo is to remove all old, thin and spindly canes (or culms as us horticulturists call them) then prune away all the side branches off the remaining culms to a height of between 60cm to 150cm depending on your choice. This in my opinion show bamboos off to there best making them stately specimens.
For more information see our Bamboo Care Guide for these types of Bamboo:
Also see our Bamboo FAQ
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Malcom B on 19 Jun 2017
Arrived quickly and healthy